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Fiona Lawrence - Contentious Probate Solicitor in Bristol - VWV Law Firm

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0117 314 5389

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Contentious Probate Solicitor in Bristol

How Can Fiona Help You?

A specialist in her field, with many years' experience dealing with a broad range of inheritance and Will disputes and trust disputes, Fiona is ideally placed to assist you.

Her clients range from private individuals including executors, administrators and beneficiaries, to professional trustees and executors.

Fiona also acts as a Court appointed Independent Administrator in contested estates, which often requires her to take firm, decisive action to relieve the deadlock in the estate and bring the estate administration to a conclusion.

Fiona is also experienced in contested Court of Protection matters; she regularly advises on matters involving attorneys acting in breach of duty, and financial abuse of vulnerable people.

Meeting Your Needs

Fiona is committed to achieving the most favourable outcome for her clients, and sees litigation as a last resort. She deals with cases in the most cost effective way she can, and she is experienced in achieving out of court settlements by way of mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

Fiona is formidable, tenacious and truly understands the complexities of a case.

What Others Say

Chambers' HNW Guide 2021 comments that Fiona works with a broad range of clients, assisting with wills and trusts disputes. "Fiona is top flight," enthuses a source, describing her as "very calm," "level-headed and cool." The source continues: "She is good at dealing with demanding clients and hard opponents." "She is technically excellent, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her," states a market insider.

Legal 500 2021 has named Fiona Lawrence as a Next Generation Partner.

A client for whom Fiona successfully settled a Will dispute says “We have received an exemplary service. Fiona dealt with our case with vigour and took time to be thorough in all aspects of the matter. The service was efficient, very effective and we are very grateful to her and her team!”

Another client comments:

"It is never easy to find a professional to lean on and one who takes the time to truly understand the issue at hand.  Fiona Lawrence has exceeded all expectations I ever had in this regard.  Fiona has helped me navigate a very delicate situation whilst retaining an enormously elevated level of professionalism.  I have come to rely upon her advice and her counsel without regard.  I shall always hold her in the highest esteem and would never hesitate to recommend her for her insight, her acuity and perhaps most of all - her strength and her kindness."

What You Might Like to Know

Fiona has been at VWV since 2002, and previously worked for Thring Townsend.

She is a member of the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS).

Fiona has been involved in the following reported cases:

  • Bowack v Saxton [2020] EWHR 1049 Ch - a case involving the validity of two trusts despite a string of documentation errors;
  • Tachi v Woodward [2018] WL 0627 1050 - a Will challenge case; and
  • Green v Astor [2013] EWHC 1857 - the first reported decision in which the Court ordered a beneficiary to pay the costs of an application by a personal representative for directions, on the grounds that his unreasonable conduct was responsible for the costs of the application.

Fiona has published the following articles:

  • 'Contested wills: late for a very important date', an article published in the Trusts & Estates Law & Tax Journal in which Fiona and Julia Hardy review the considerations that will be taken into account by a Court when allowing a very late amendment to a Will challenge case, having regard to the Tachi v Woodward decision;
  • 'Casing the joints', an article published in PS, the magazine of the Law Society’s Private Client Section, in which Fiona and Julia Hardy consider the problems faced by personal representatives in relation to joint bank accounts after the death of one of the account holders; and
  • 'Stuck in the Middle', in which Fiona and Christine Green provide a first hand account of how challenging the role of Independent Administrator can be, with reference to the Green v Astor judgement. First published in PS, the magazine of the Law Society’s Private Client Section, a version of this article was also featured in the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPs) Journal.

Outside work, Fiona enjoys spending time with her family and her teenage boys, cycling and open water swimming. Fiona is currently training to swim the Dart 10k.